A photograph from the 2013 inauguration of former President Barack Obama should put to rest the sudden claims from some that the “Betsy Ross” American flag is a racist dog-whistle.
The debate arose when former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick objected to the presence of the “Betsy Ross” revolutionary era design of the American flag on a specialty shoe from Nike to be sold ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
The shoe was recalled and its sale cancelled by the shoe company, causing an online uproar among those defending the historical flag.
Others on the left argued that the use by some white supremacist groups of the flag had turned it into a symbol of racist segregation and oppression.
On Wednesday, supporters of the “Betsy Ross” flag began posting photographs from Obama’s inauguration that included the supposedly offensive design.
Some noted that no one objected to the presence of the flag as a racist symbol in 2013, which brings into doubt the legitimacy of such claims 6 years later.
Liberal MSNBC guest Michael Eric Dyson lambasted the defense of the flag in a segment on Wednesday.
“So right now, this flag has been used by people who want to pummel African Americans, Latinx, Jews and other people. Neo-nazis who want to claim they have the true copyright on American identity,” said Dyson.
“So why not choose a flag that is representative of everybody?” he asked. “The diversity of identities, ideologies, and people of color and mainstream people who happen to exist in this country?”
Here’s more on the Nike flag controversy:
Colin Kaepernick convinced Nike to drop Betsy Ross Flag shoe